Many open access journals are funded by article processing charges (APCs), also known as publication fees. A small number of these journals are “black sheep” which provide little or no editorial or publishing services in return for the money they charge.
These kinds of business practices are often referred to as “predatory publishing”. In many cases this method of doing business is associated with spam emails which encourage authors to submit their work. These emails often include details designed to tempt authors, such as unrealistically short deadlines by which the journal insists it can complete the peer review process.
While the dubious nature and intentions of some journals are obvious at first glance – for example due to multiple typing and printing errors in their emails and on their website – others may initially appear legitimate until some further investigations are carried out. The reason some of these predatory journals appear professional is that they often make their website and academic credentials look very similar to those of well-known, legitimate journals in order to deliberately confuse people. Sometimes they even pretend that their editorial board includes well-known scientists who, in reality, have nothing whatsoever to do with the journal.
It is therefore important to remain sceptical when considering where to submit your article, especially if you’re dealing with lesser-known open access journals.
(Zitat: Dr. Jasmin Schmitz, Open Access Advisory Services, Publisso, ZBMed)